“God, I love this heatwave,” George said. “I had four Fab lollies yesterday without even blinking.”
He began smearing sun cream on his face and hair.
“I mean, what are they really but a bit of ice and a few sugar sprinkles?”
George was a man after my own heart.
I had been at the radio station on a work placement for three days so far and I had learnt several things already.
1) The editors discussed food more than politics. 2) If you turned your headphones on loud enough you couldn’t hear the chirpy swearing after the breakfast show, and 3) almost everyone wants to be on the radio.
Oh, and you never, ever question the sun cream on the hair.
It was Wednesday morning and George and Joel (news editor and presenter) were arguing. They fought in the same way Stephen Fry mocks Alan Davies; with good humour and insatiable enthusiasm.
Oh Stephen, is it any wonder we love you?
“Joel, this is exactly what I said two days ago!” George said.
“Let’s go up on the roof in the sunshine to broadcast about the heatwave, I said. You poo-pooed the idea. Now what do I hear this morning?”
George’s voice became that of a camp five-year-old girl.
“‘Oh George, wouldn’t it be a nice idea if we broadcast on the roof this morning because of the weather.'”
Joel said calmly, “You’re just angry because I had the last Mexican chicken wrap yesterday and you had to survive on only a bagel.”
George looked mutinous and shoved a couple of Starbursts into his mouth. I grinned, put my headphones on and started editing an interview with an RAF pilot.
It had been a bit of a slow news week. Apart from the few interviews I had conducted, in which one excited man shouted, “Oh my God, this is the real deal!” when I pulled my logo-adorned microphone from my bag, there hadn’t been a lot to do.
The world was awaiting the birth of the royal baby. The wait was turning me into the equivalent of a jaded forty-something journalist who said things like, “and I thought I’d be writing in a rooftop garret in France by now. Ha!”
One can dream
At home that week I actually uttered the words, “Sky News were really running on empty today.” My Mum laughed so hard she spat tea down herself.
So I was quite pleased to disappear to work the following Monday. It meant I wouldn’t be in charge of trying to fit the the baby Prince’s three-barrel name into a catchy script title.
I am now working as bar staff at a local golf course, a job which mostly involves smiling glassily at flirty golfers and wringing cider out of my apron. To be honest, I think my parents are just relieved I am now doing more with my time than watching New Girl and bleaching second-hand jeans.
“Last Saturday I brought a 3D TV,” he said mournfully. “I had a glass of Pinot and thought, ”What I really need now is giant 48″ LED screen.”
He finished lacing up his bowling shoes. “I went to Wetherspoon last night, then left to buy a Kindle in Tesco Extra. I think I have a problem.”
Maria laughed, and tucked her hands inside the bib of her dungarees.
“I hope you’re all ready for my outstanding bowling talents,” she said and did a little moonwalk in her red and blue shoes.
Matt won with an embarrassingly high score. His technique seemed to mostly involve vaguely chucking the ball and then walking away without even watching it. After the fourth strike it seemed he didn’t need to.
“I just do what Mariah [Carey] would do,” Matt explained, smugly. “I just throw the ball and expect it to do what I want.”
Afterwards, we had to wait for Maria to lace up her twenty hole Doc Martens. Matt said dryly, “Congratulations Maria. I’m now one-hundred-years-old.”
Maria stuck out her slushie-stained tongue at him.
“You’re going to be gloating about your win for a week, aren’t you?” Alfie asked resignedly.
“Oh Alfie,” Matt laughed kindly. “I’m going to remind you of this for a lot longer than a week.”
So now I’m working as often as possible to maintain my not-quite-pitiful student existence. It will be worth it if I can eventually afford enough books to fill my new and slightly cavernous room at university. My creaking shelves tell me I’ve got enough.
My shelves are always lying.
“If you have enough book space, I don’t want to know you” – Terry Pratchett
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